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Airborne Unlimited -- Most Recent Daily Episodes

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Sat, Jun 15, 2024

National Park Service Tries Drone Inspections on Oldest Sequoia

Wildfires, Beetles Endanger Oldest Growth in the Country, Requiring Attentive Care

The US National Park Service isn't very accepting of drone operations throughout its purview, but once in a while even they see some use in the little tools, particularly where they can be used to assess the health of old growth forests without the hubbub of a crewed aircraft. Doodle Labs highlighted its work in networking a recent effort to scan, document, and assess the health of 'General Sherman', the world's largest living tree. A crew brought out a Firefly Astro Prime and one of the Labs' mesh networks to provide a C2 uplink as the drone checked the tree for beetle damage. 

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Sat, Jun 15, 2024

Eve Air Mobility Releases Additional Footage of Full-Scale Prototype

First Non-Conforming Aircraft Coming Along Nicely Down in Brazil

Eve Air Mobility showed off the process of building its first full-size eVTOL prototype, getting a little attention boost while giving out some visual proof of their advancement. “From the beginning, we’ve made strategic choices in the design and configuration of our eVTOL to be able to accomplish a variety of urban mobility missions in the most efficient and cost-effective manner possible, with a high safety level and reduced impact in the communities where it will be operated. Higher dispatch reliability equals more flights per day, an important factor for our customers and their business model.” said Luiz Valentini, chief technology officer at Eve Air Mobility.

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Sat, Jun 15, 2024

Merlin Snags C-130J Automation Assignment from SOCOM

Prospect of an Autonomous Hercules Fast-Tracks Funding in Hopes of Quick Breakthrough

Merlin, hot off a few test flights aboard some KC-135s, has gotten a $105 million production contract to automate the C-130J. The contract was granted under an Indefinite Delivery Indefinite Quantity (IDIQ) contract by the United States Special Operations Command (SOCOM) to lay the groundwork for a "production-ready reduced aircrew capability" using their favorite fixed-wing aircraft, the C-130J Super Hercules. Merlin notes that its previous partnership with the Air Force from 2022 included multiple phases in a similar vein, even including design integration for the C-130J, testing, flight testing, full takeoff & landing demos, maturation of autonomy skills, and additional integration in Special Operations Force aircraft. 

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Sat, Jun 15, 2024

Airborne 06.14.24: Air Race Classic, Bong's P-38, Powered Lift Regs

Also: SU-57 Destroyed?, Starship FL Mtgs, Hartzell Propeller Core Program, ForeFlight 16.5 

The Air Race Classic will launch from Southern Illinois Airport (KMDH) in Carbondale/Murphysboro on Tuesday July 18 and terminate 2,610 statute miles later on Saturday July 21 at the Northern Colorado Regional Airport (KFNL) in Loveland, Colorado. The annual competition of planning, strategy, skill, and teamwork goes back 95 years to the 1929 Women’s Air Derby. The effort to recover the remains of Richard Bong's old P-38 Lightning have already fostered some changes between Pacific Wrecks, the team searching for it, and its resting place of Papua New Guinea. Bong earned himself the Medal of Honor while flying 'Marge', his P-38, but the aircraft was lost when it was loaned out to another pilot in his unit, never to be seen again. The FAA is looking for public commentary on a draft Advisory Circular regarding the type, production, and airworth

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Sat, Jun 15, 2024

Australian Textron Footprint Increased with Premiair Acquisition

Expanded Services Address Customer Service Shortcomings Down Under

A 2020 purchase of Premiair Aviation Maintenance is now bearing fruit, with Textron Aviation announcing a name change to embody its primary Australian presence. After 4 years of digestion, the firm has finished integrating the Premiair brand into their company, and will now emblazon their Australian assets as Textron Aviation Australia Pty Limited. Now, Premiair's facilities in Perth, Gold Coast, and Melbourne will be prominent nodes in Textron Aviation's comprehensive global service network. 

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Sat, Jun 15, 2024

Sheltair Aviation, ACE Open Kids' Playground in Lakeland

Florida Air Museum Has New Attractions for Children Looking to Learn

Sheltair Aviation and the Aerospace Center for Excellence continued their ever-expanding portfolio of activities with the opening of the Jerry Holland Destination: Aviation Playground, offering a fun, engaging play environment for kids in Lakeland, Florida. The playground was opened with a ribbon-cutting ceremony hosted by ACE president and CEO Gene Conrad, with remarks from Lisa Holland, President and CEO of Sheltair and daughter of Jerry Holland.

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Sat, Jun 15, 2024

2024 SUN N FUN Innovation Preview Segments Published

Massive Aviation News Event Started 2024 Off With a Plethora of Exciting Info

Last year, we introduced the SnF Innovation Preview in which 25 companies introduced over 30 new planes, products, engines, accessories, and more… in other words… a LOT of news. Rotax previewed the powerful 916iS, CubCrafters showcased the Carbon Cub UL, Bose introduced the A30, Aerox revealed the Boomula… and so much more. This year, we went beyond that... way beyond all that, with a larger selection of news announcements that covered ALL aspects of sport, general and commercial aviation... all at the start of the 50th Annual SUN n FUN Aerospace Expo... the undisputed start to the aviation year. This year was also a major news-breaker... especially with the announcement that the DeltaHawk Diesel engine folks were working with Piper Aircraft on an STC for the PA44 Seminole. It also hosted the first forma

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Sat, Jun 15, 2024

Airborne-Flight Training 06.13.24: Abandoned Students, Nolinor C172, Simming

Also: USN Jet Returns, MD530F Special Missions, PAL Aerospace, FedEx Picket

Students of Atlantis Aviation Flight school are apparently either out the total sum of their prepaid flight training, or waiting on probate to get on with their careers, after the owners of the school died in an aircraft accident last March. Several students caught the attention of local news, sharing their plight with reporters in the hopes of continuing on with their training. Atlantis Aviation is, or was, a flight school offering students the usual zero-to-hero flight training experience in addition to the standard Part 61 experience. Nolinor Aviation has acquired a second Cessna 172 for its Become a Pilot program. This Cessna 172 (C-172), rich in history and carefully restored, will be made available to Nolinor Aviation employees, offering an exceptional pilot training opportunity. The Flight Simulation Association completed a survey of pilots and air traffic con

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Sat, Jun 15, 2024

Airborne 06.12.24: Stupid Heli Trix, Seaplane v Boat, Aussie NIMBY

Also: Flt Students Abandoned, SERIOUS Balloon Action, CubCrafters Midwest, NYC Heliport Saved

Suk Min Choi, known to his million-plus YouTube subscribers as Alex Choi, has been arrested and faces federal charges for “causing the placement of an explosive or incendiary device on an aircraft.” The charges result from Choi’s allegedly being the mastermind behind a scheme to create a video showing a Lamborghini speeding and doing donuts on a dry lake bed as passengers in a low-flying helicopter shoot fireworks aimed at the car. A well-filmed clip began circulating over the weekend, showing a Harbour Air seaplane as it began its takeoff roll and collided with a boat. The aircraft was operating under Harbour Air, a seaplane operator in Vancouver, Canada. The firm is a common sight there, with a handful of single-engine, high-wing turboprops tethered to the dock in between a constant stream of revenue flights. Thankfully, there we

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Sat, Jun 15, 2024

Disruptive Airline Passengers Paying the Price for Bad Behavior

Summer Travel Season Means More Incidents

Passengers who disrupt airline flights can be a danger to flight crew members as well as other passengers and may also jeopardize flight safety. The FAA is very concerned about these types of incidents and several years ago began making passengers who exhibit bad behavior pay for their lack of self-discipline. Incidents of airline passengers disrupting flights have been a chronic problem for several decades but the resumption of travel volume in the months following the pandemic restrictions saw a nearly 6-fold increase with 5,973 incidents in 2021.

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